Author Archives: valpinny

Happy Birthday πŸŽ‚


Tuesday 16th to Tuesday 23rd June

Happy Birthday QEHB πŸŽ‚

“16th June 2020 marks 10 years since the first patients moved into the UK’s newest and largest (at the time) single site hospital. The move involved transferring 800 patients in 52 hours, including 65 Critical Care patients, all while maintaining delivery of 24/7 services.

The first major department to open in the new hospital was the Emergency Department, which started receiving patients from the first minute of 16th June 2010.

The opening of the fruit and veg stall in November 2012 meant that staff, patients, visitors and the local community were able to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and salad right on the doorstep.”

It’s good to have a little visit to this stall when on a trip to clinic in the QE πŸ“πŸŽ

An amazing hospital 😍

And football’s finally back ⚽️ That makes me a bit happy πŸ˜ƒ

Remember back in April we planted some peas? Well look …

A trip down memory lane!

Oh my goodness, I seem to remember too many of these πŸ™ƒ

Fruit cake


Monday 15th June

Happy lockdown birthday Robyn πŸŽ‚

We went to Minster Lovell ruins.

History of Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote

We had a birthday picnic near to the river, then decided to go on a little walk.

We walked into nearby Crawley village and then back to the ruins.

I think the ‘little walk’ turned out to be a bit longer than we all would have liked, nearly five miles. It was SO hot πŸ₯΅ Leah said she felt like we were walking through the desert! 🏜 It was pretty exhausting.

But we did get to see this random ‘flower’ on the way!!!

Now because every year Robyn always likes to have her birthday cakes made from fruit I miss out on getting to eat proper birthday cake! (one of my favourite things) ☹️

So I found these amazing cakes instead.

It does seem such a shame to cut them though after all the hard work that has gone into making them.



Tuesday 9th to Sunday 14th June

Some lonely times ☹️

But why am I complaining?

Thinking of all the pre-transplant patients who have been just helplessly waiting for their call, whilst also feeling so very unwell all throughout lockdown too. Such difficult times.

Thank goodness they’ve been able to start doing them again now.

An interesting article – Resuming liver transplantation

Stay strong all of you πŸ’ͺ Hopefully your call will come soon 🀞

And in complete contrast, look at this luxury treehouse. How lucky were this couple to spend lockdown there.

My strawberry plants seem to be doing quite well again this year! πŸ“πŸ‘

Heart at Home


Monday 1st to Monday 8th June

From the 1st of June the government changed the advice for people in England who are shielding, they can now go outside once a day. Yay! But with the overall lockdown being loosened and with other people now being allowed to meet in groups of up to 6, lots more people are going to be out and about.

Think I might need to be getting myself some of these!

It’s Volunteers’ Week.

To celebrate this Oxford University Hospitals usually organise a very lovely Strawberry Cream Tea party to say thank you to their volunteers.

But this year, because of coronavirus of course, this couldn’t happen. So instead we were all extremely lucky to be getting a Strawberry Cream Tea delivery

It was so exciting. You do start to feel a bit forgotten when your just at home a lot. A little gesture like this can make such a big difference to your day.

It was a shame I was feeling unwell, but I still set it all out nicely. Then back in the fridge it went so that I could enjoy it over the next couple of days as I felt a little better.

I saw on my Facebook memories that I have been volunteering at the John Radcliffe Hospital for 4 years now πŸ™‚

I certainly am very much missing my weekly visits to the liver ward ☹️

The table’s turned on Sunday when I dyed Robyn’s hair. Something different!

‘Heart at Home’ – a campaign to thank everyone for staying home and protecting the most vulnerable.

Have a look at all of these amazing β€˜works of heART’

They are free to download. Why not choose your favourite and then share it on your own social media pages.

Hopefully this will encourage conversation around the topic of organ donation and get more people to share their decision with their loved ones during lockdown.

How I help coronavirus patients to walk again

Oh my goodness 😰

That brings back some memories …

🐟 and 🍟


Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st May

Watch A message from Earth

There have been more than 3 million cases of coronavirus across the world.

There are just over 30 countries and territories which have not yet reported a single case. (But remember just because a nation has not reported any infections does not necessarily mean there have been no cases. Some seem to like to keep it secret for some reason!)

Many are small, hard to reach islands in the Pacific that I have never heard of! And several of these are some of the least populated places in the world.

One of these places being Comoros.

How can there be such a nasty and horrible virus in a beautiful place like this.

Wish I was there …

Anyway, as the different lockdowns around the world begin to lift, it seems like life is very gradually starting to return to the ‘new normal’.

This article shows some interesting photos of then and now.

Striking photos show ghost towns and cities returning to new normal

And in my own attempt to try and get things back to some kind of normal, there was Friday night fish and chips, which I have been looking forward to having πŸ˜‹

I miss my mum πŸ’”


Saturday 23rd to Wednesday 27th May

It was Radio 1’s Big Weekend, but this year, thanks to Covid, it was having to be a virtual festival.

We decided to join in and Robyn made us our own little festival πŸŽ€πŸ’ƒ

We listened to Anne-Marie on the ‘Radiator Stage’ until the weather warmed up a little bit!

Robyn decorated the garden with homemade bunting and some flags. We did outside yoga. I visited the hair, body paint and tattoo area.

There was also some very delicious homemade cake and flapjack and there was Pimms πŸΉπŸ˜‹

It was such fun. I can’t wait for the next event …

Top tip – Try to keep finding yourself different things to do which will help you to get through these strange times.

Another year has now gone by without my mum 😰

So I made for her a special bling edition of one of my beloved succulents!

🀞 that it keeps on growing for her.

A special rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables was recorded during lockdown. One of my mum’s favourite songs.

So this is for you mum.

Bring Him Home

Miss you πŸ’”

The Great Realisation


Thursday 14th to Friday 22nd May

Some upset days, some lovely hot and sunny days.

These things go towards me getting behind with my blog, sorry!

I simply just can’t stay out of my garden!

There was a Saturday morning delivery πŸ˜‹

I was so badly in need of this to cheer me up a little.

My goodness, I can’t tell you how good that coffee tasted!

By the way, following the fall in the peas, my leg is still swollen, bruised and hurting ☹️

The organ donation law changed on 20th May. Now all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, what’s known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of the excluded groups.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: “Organ donation remains a choice and families will still be involved in any donation decision. It is absolutely an individual’s choice whether they want to register as an organ donor or to opt out. We want to ensure that people are making the right decision for them based on facts rather than misinformation. Once a person has made their decision, we encourage them to let their friends and family know and consider registering their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register”.

The most important priority for a medical team is always to do everything they can to save the life of their patient. Organ donation would only ever go ahead with the family’s agreement and once all life saving measures have been exhausted and clinicians confirm that the patient has died.

If you are still unsure about your own decision you might find some help by reading this:

Get the facts about organ donation

If you were to donate your organs think what great gifts you have left behind.

And you will always be someone’s hero …

This poem is simply amazing –

The Great Realisation

‘But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?

Well, sometimes, you got to get sick, my boy, before you start feeling better.’

Love it 😍

Two lovely walks


Wednesday 13th May

So Boris eased the lockdown at the weekend. All a bit worrying.

Lets hope it’s not too early and leads to something like this.

My car had a flat battery from lack of use so after being jump started it needed to go on a little run out and as the weather was lovely there was a little trip to The Rollright Stones

We then went on an adventure down a little footpath and found a lovely wood nearby. There were various pieces of ‘land art’ and a labyrinth, which we followed for a bit of fun.

Apparently it was a place to visit for last year’s Oxfordshire Art Weeks.

In the evening there was another walk, in our town this time, where someone has set up a little fairy trail πŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ

It was so cute and pretty.

Despite my hurting leg, two walks today 😱 (Both places were deserted 😷)

Very very painful


Saturday 9th to Tuesday 12th May

Do you remember that we planted some peas near the start of lockdown back at the beginning of April?

They’ve been growing well 🌱

Well on Saturday I actually fell into my tub of peas!

Ouch πŸ€•

I was trying to lift a heavy full bag of compost up a step and I lost my balance, down I went.

The next day my whole body was aching from the fall (that shows you’re getting old doesn’t it?)

My arm was bruised in a couple of places.

And my thigh was too.

This was the bottom of my leg soon after my fall before the bruising came out.

It was soon swollen and very very painful 😣

I’ve been hobbling and limping around ever since.

It hurts.

PS The peas have survived the trauma πŸ˜ƒ



Friday 8th May

Happy lockdown birthday Leah πŸŽ‚

The amazing cake was made by Robyn. She made a very big mess but she did a very good job πŸ‘

And also Happy VE Day!

Victory in Europe Day. It marks a very important event in World War 2, the end of the war with Germany on Tuesday 8th May 1945.

It’s a day that remains in the memory of all those who witnessed it. It meant an end to nearly six years of a war that had cost the lives of millions, had destroyed homes, families and cities, and had brought huge suffering to the populations of entire countries.

A public holiday was declared. People held parties, danced and sang in the streets and huge crowds gathered in London.

Who were the women in the Trafalgar Square fountains on VE Day?

My mum was a Women’s Land Army girl too 😍

We celebrated the 75th anniversary by going to watch one of our neighbours singing for us all.

we’ll meet again 🎀

(He also sang Happy Birthday to Leah much to her embarrassment!)

Even the cars did their bit πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§